old rugged cross
Background and performance tips on
"Old rugged cross"
By mark braud
“Old Rugged Cross” was composed by the Methodist evangelist George Bernard in 1912. As with many other gospel songs, this song has found its home in both country repertoire and the New Orleans traditional repertoire. New Orleans brass bands frequently perform this song as a slow, mournful dirge at jazz funerals as the body is being taken from the church or funeral parlor to the grave site. The sparse snare and bass drum cadence at the beginning sets the tempo for the band.
I recommend going to a jazz funeral and hearing this song played live.